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Peugeot Will Go to LeMans 2007 with a Diesel

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The 5.5-liter V-12 HDi with DPFS.

Peugeot will enter the 2007 Le Mans 24 Hours race with a new car—to be called the Peugeot 908—powered by a 5.5-liter V-12 HDi diesel engine equipped with a diesel particulate filter system.

In March, Audi made racing history as its diesel-powered Audi R10 TDI won the Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring, becoming the first diesel car in the world to win a major sports car race. The R10 TDI is competing in Le Mans, which runs from 17-18 June. (Earlier post.)

The Peugeot engine is based on a 100° twelve-cylinder V design, with a 5.5-liter cylinder capacity—the maximum allowed by regulations. Peugeot went with a 12-cylinder design to keep the bore diameter very close to that of a production series engine to make best use of its diesel combustion knowledge and to limit the stroke to a reasonable value. The V-12 architecture also reduces vibration to a minimum.

Peugeot expects the engine to deliver more than 515 kW (690 hp) of power and more than 1,200 Nm of torque. Bosch is one of Peugeot Sport’s key partners on this project, making an active contribution to the specification of the fuel injection components and to the engine management system.

In comparison, the Audi R10 TDI is powered by an all-aluminum, 5.5-liter, twelve-cylinder bi-turbo TDI engine that delivers more than 485 kW (650 hp) of power and more than 1,100 Nm of torque.

Peugeot will introduce a scale model of the car at the upcoming Paris Auto Show (Mondial de l`Auto) in September, begin test driving in December, and compete in test races in 2007 (including Sebring), leading to the Le Mans run in June 2007.

Earlier this year, France-based Welter Racing announced that it would field a biodiesel car in Le Mans 2008.

Comments

Paul Bell

Formula One is gasoline only, not alcohol. In 2007 IRL IndyCar Series machines will use 100% ethanol (due to the work of the late Paul Dana) and the Champ Car World Series will continue with methanol.

Frankly, I find being at a track where the cars are using alcohol to be much more pleasant; the fossil-burners just smell bad and tend to leave a residue. It'd be great to see one of these diesel LMP programs use totally non-petroleum-based biodiesel.

Does anyone know for sure if the stunning 908 will grace the runways at Sebring??? I can't imagine Peugeot footing the bill for a full ALMS program but Sebring is a pretty traditional proving ground for assaults on Le Mans.

Now let's someone build a series hybrid (as opposed to the Prius-stype parallel hybrids) with a small, bio-fueled gas turbine powering the whole thing, with gigantic torque-monster electric motors to get 'er off the corners....

...and we corner workers thought the R10 was silent...wow...

The R10 is the only purebred racecar I've been around where at 120mph through a corner I can only hear the tires squealing and thumping on the tarmac. Scary stuff for those of us who occasionally need to go out on the race surface, especially at night.

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